Industry Trends5 min

Trends: Five Best Sustainable Building Materials Best Practices

Sustainability and green construction are dominating homebuilding trends as homeowners are choosing energy efficiency as a primary driver in their purchase consideration. However, just as all trends evolve, we're seeing the definition of sustainability expand to include health and wellness. What does this mean for you when installing sustainable building materials? Choosing non-toxic building materials and safe building materials have tremendous benefits not only for homeowners but for you and your crew, too. 

1. Improve health and wellness of your home with sustainable building materials and non-toxic building materials

Starting with a properly designed building envelope does wonders for helping the home's HVAC system perform more efficiently and reduce unwanted temperature variations. A tight building envelope also supports good indoor air quality. And one way to help achieve this sustainable benefit is to use building materials like LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier

“If you practice good air quality and ventilation inside, you can help prevent allergens and pollutants from entering the home,” says Neil Freidberg, Building Science Manager at LP Building Solutions. "Even something like mowing the yard can affect someone inside who has severe allergies." Other outdoor environmental concerns Friedberg listed were exhaust coming from a nearby highway, factory or farm.

Choosing safe building materials is another way to increase overall sustainability. 

"One of the benefits of using OSB products like LP WeatherLogic panels and LP Structural Solutions products is you don't have to worry about off-gassing over the life of the product. If it's a low VOC content board, there is no long-term effects for either the installer or homeowner when they occupy the space," he says.

2. Built to last a lifetime with the best sustainable building materials

Sustainability and resiliency go hand-in-hand. When builders use resilient products there are fewer instances where homeowners are forced to rebuild, which reduces waste and energy consumption.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is engineered to provide strength and powerful resistance. In fact, this durable, longer-lasting siding is made to resist hail up to 1,75 inches in diameter.

“We offer a good level of durability due to the waxes and resins in the product but also the orientation of the strand to make them more durable,” says Isaac Ojeda, Construction Service Associate at LP Building Solutions. “During manufacturing, the strands are arranged in cross-directional layers to help improve the resilience of the product.” 

Wind is another concern. "High-wind zones are mapped from Maine to South Texas," says Ojeda. "LP SmartSide lap and panel siding can withstand high winds and has earned APA Product Approval.”

3. Framing and sustainable building materials from sustainable sources

LP is certified to all three Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) standards, helping ensure our fiber procurement program is managed responsibly and is evaluated through a transparent third-party verification audit process.

"LP engineered wood products are sustainable to begin with," says Freidberg. "Wood is a renewable resource; it's not technically finite." LP also sources fairly young trees and manages their forest resourcing responsibly, which helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint along the way.

"A really great thing we do is try to use 99 percent of the trees we harvest. While other places may throw away tree waste, we use it to help fuel the mill," boasts Ojeda.

4. Build with wood

The LP Structural Solutions product portfolio is a great example of materials designed for resiliency as they all rely on engineered wood to deliver outstanding strength and resilience. They contribute to sustainable building as construction materials that are also proven to Defend Your Build® against almost anything that comes its way—from fire and heat to moisture and wind. 

An example is LP WeatherLogic Structural I rated sheathing that is built to stand up to both moisture and wind. "If water gets behind stone from a wind-driven rain, the drainage plane of LP WeatherLogic panels won't permit the water to be absorbed but let it drain away," says Friedberg.

5. Support green building codes

LP supports helping builders and architects meet code easier while remaining dedicated to resilient design. 

Ojeda explains how LP Building Solutions works with various agencies in the U.S. to support resilient building construction. For example, LP SmartSide Trim & Siding can be combined with LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated Sheathing as part of a WUI-compliant solution

“We have WUI resources on our product literature page. We also have building material lists for assembling our products in WUI areas,” he says. 

Want to know more about sustainable building construction? See how it’s changing the building industry.  

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